Legislators Compose Latest Version Of N.J. College Restructure Plan

Ann McClure's picture

After a long and stormy session, state legislators cobbled together a new version of a higher education reorganization plan Monday night that supporters hope to get the through the state Legislature despite unanswered questions about its cost.

The new version of the plan will delay the reshuffling of Rutgers University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rowan University by a year, until July 2013, so that the costs do not affect next year’s state budget, lawmakers said.

The bill’s sponsors also agreed to a series of sweeping amendments to the original bill that will give more power to the Rutgers-Newark campus, protect University Hospital in Newark, honor union contracts and prevent layoffs on all three campuses for at least 12 months.

Those changes were intended to win over Essex County politicians, union leaders and other critics who had threatened to derail the controversial proposal.

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